Philadelphia’s annual prestigious theater awards return.
When the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre happens this Monday, October 14, at South Philly’s Bok Building on Mifflin Street, it will mark the 25th year that professional theatre in Philadelphia and its immediate region is well celebrated. That’s a great given, a sense of assurance that Philly’s finest thespians, playwrights, directors, costumers, choreographers, ensemble casts, set, stage and lighting designers, company runners and those behind the scenes will be noted and celebrated for their good work. Under the banner of Theatre Philadelphia’s good works, the Barrymores are now as much about inclusion and diversity (acting awards are nominated not by actor and actress, male and female, but rather through their performance), as they are the wealth of talent coming out of this city.
Tickets can be found HERE.
Though, the Barrymore Awards are not a popularity contest, it is clear that the 2019 Nominees’ judging found the Arden Theatre Company’s audacious production of August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” atop the list (11 nominations for “Gem,” 29 in all, including 8 for “Once”), Theatre Horizon in Norristown snagged 9 nominations for its musical adaptation production Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple.” The Wilma Theater’s “Kill Move Paradise,” written by James Ijames received 7 nominations.
One awardee who already knows he’ll be getting his Barrymore is Lifetime Achievement Award nominee, playwright and teacher Ed Shockley, the former artistic director of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center, who wrote over 50 plays, including “Bessie Smith: Empress of the Blues” and “Bobos,” which he co-wrote with James McBride.
Plus, the event at the Bok will feature not only the awards ceremony but its after-party, as well, so that you don’t have to traipse around the city as